Campaign Endorsements Are Stupid
This is the crazy time of the year again when the politicians come to your door with their smiles and palm cards and ask for your vote. You see their ads in the paper and their yard signs scattered around town.
Another thing you see is endorsements for every race from President all the way to Town Council and School Committee. “The North Rumsticktonville Democrats endorse Bill Smith for Town Council!” Oh really? I never would have guessed that the town Democratic party would endorse the Democrat. And yes, I’m fully aware that the Republican parties do the exact same thing and that is equally silly. Just as when we see candidates touting that they are the “endorsed candidate” in the race when they have a primary. How’d that whole endorsement thing work out for Jim Bennett about ten years ago when he was running for Governor and had a primary against a little-known businessman named Carcieri? We’ve seen similar things happen in other races since then. The endorsement sometimes means very little to the voters.
I think it’s great that the voters often reject these endorsements. It shows that they can think for themselves, which really leads me to wonder, does anyone care about endorsements when they’re in the voting booth? I mean, how do I choose between the candidate that Willie Mays and Kim Kardashian want me to vote for or who Vince McMahon and Pat Sajak prefer? Do these sorts of endorsements actually work on anyone? If not, then what’s the point?
I can understand it when an advocacy group like Fight Back RI or RIILE lists their endorsements. That sort of information can be helpful to a single-issue voter. But with the rest of these endorsements, who cares? If someone is going to vote for Candidate X simply because Mayor Y supports the candidate, I’m not so sure that person should really even be voting.
Before you head to the polls on Tuesday, please do your own research, find out about each of the candidates on the ballot. Use a sample ballot for your district and learn about each of the candidates. If you’re going to take the time to vote, please also take the time to know who you’re voting for and voting against, and at least have a good reason to vote for them. Do it for Kim Kardashian.